After the showdown in Albany legalized gay marriage, euphoric crowds last night thronged the streets of New York City's West Village, where the gay rights movement was born some four decades ago. “It’s where it all began,” said one reveler outside the Stonewall Inn. The New York Times notes that the bill's passage coincides with Gay Pride weekend, and crowds assembled for a scheduled drag parade last night were buoyed by those looking to witness and celebrate history. “I really can’t really describe what this feels like, but it is one of the best feelings I have ever had in my life," said City Council speaker Christine Quinn, the city's highest-ranked openly gay official.
The Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969, helped spark the equal rights movement, and it came full circle last night, nearly 42 years later. Marriage proposals abounded, notes the AP, many between partners who had been together for decades. “It’ll be our same relationship," said a 52-year-old gay man standing with his partner. "We’re the same people as when we met, except now it’s proper in the eyes of the state, and I’ll be able to look at people and say, ‘This is my husband.' " Click through the gallery for scenes from Albany to the Big Apple. (Read more New York stories.)